- Title: Ohio restaurant workers hope government helps them survive coronavirus shutdown
- Date: 16th March 2020
- Summary: CLEVELAND, OHIO, UNITED STATES (MARCH 15, 2020) (REUTERS) CHOCOLATE BAR MANAGER DELFIA TAYLOR LOCKING DOORS AT 9 PM AFTER THE GOVERNOR'S ORDER TO CLOSE ALL RESTAURANTS AND BARS IN THE STATE PAN FROM EMPTY MARTINI GLASSES TO EMPTY BAR WORKER CLEANING GLASSES AND ARRANGING TABLES WORKER CLEANING KITCHEN EQUIPMENT (SOUNDBITE) (English) WAITRESS AT THE CHOCOLATE BAR, INDIA JOHN, SAYING: "Honestly, I'm kind of upset about the closing because of rent and financials and I know that we all have families to take care of and things like that. I do want us to all be safe and healthy, but I'm really concerned about how I'm going to pay my bills. So, that's where I'm at." BAR TENDER WORKING ON REGISTER PAN FROM BAR TO EMPTY TABLES (SOUNDBITE) (English) CHOCOLATE BAR MANAGER, DELFIA TAYLOR, SAYING: "And then also, I feel like we should have beenâ€¦ we should probably had a larger deadline to shut down. Being an industryâ€¦ I've been doing this for 20 years, and I feel like, you know, we just didn't have enough time to prepare. You know, the owner of our company in our business, who's working very hard to put a package together for us and to make sure we're ok, he has to take on the stress of, you know, losing money and then also worrying about us because he loves us dearly. So, I just feel like we should've had a little bit more time but we're going to stay positive and upbeat because we'll be back." WORKER POLISHING UTENSILS (SOUNDBITE) (English) CHOCOLATE BAR EXECUTIVE CHEF, JOE ARMAGNO, SAYING: "My biggest concern is, you know, making sure all my guys in the kitchen are all taken care of, making sure their families are safe and healthy. That's just been my number one concern for this whole thing. And, so, we'llâ€¦ we'll be back. Yeah. We'll be serving martinis and desserts very soon." WORKER MOPPING FLOOR (SOUNDBITE) (English) CHOCOLATE BAR GENERAL MANAGER, SHAWN FREEMAN, SAYING: "Ohâ€¦ Oh, it will affects my business. We'reâ€¦ we're closed in ten minutes. It's going to affect it. We need toâ€¦ we're gonna figure out whether we're gonna be doing the 'to go' and delivery. But as of right now, we are a restaurant that has a full-service bar, and we'reâ€¦ we're closed. It's going to affect it dramatically. I'mâ€¦ I'mâ€¦ I'm confident we're going to get through, and I'm confident that my team is going to survive. But I'm worried about them." CHOCOLATE BAR EXTERIOR (SOUNDBITE) (English) CHOCOLATE BAR GENERAL MANAGER, SHAWN FREEMAN, SAYING: "I'm hoping that the federal government, and the mayor, and the governor, all commit can, you know, help us ease this pain, especially for some people who really didn'tâ€¦ weren't prepared for this. You know, restaurant people aren't as prepared and they can't work from home. And, so, there are gonna be thousands and thousands of people across the state of Ohio who, you know, have nothing tomorrow, who are unemployed in 10 minutes. So, it's gonna be tough." PEOPLE EATING AT 1890 RESTAURANT AT THE ARCADE IN DOWNTOWN CLEVELAND (SOUNDBITE) (English) COLUMBUS, OHIO, RESIDENT, CHARLIE FOWLER, SAYING: "I think is a little bit of an overâ€¦ overreaction, actually, but I was kind of surprised that they made that decision, but I guess we have to respect what the government tells the public to do, and it's probably with for our own safety. So, you know, that's, we have to listen." PEOPLE EATING AT 1890 RESTAURANT AT THE ARCADE IN DOWNTOWN CLEVELAND (SOUNDBITE) (English) GRAND ISLAND, NEW YORK RESIDENT, JULIE PUSATERI, SAYING: "Everything's just spreading so quick. People are dying. People aren't taking it as serious as they should. Everything's closing. And, like, the government's taking the precautions that they need to do, they closed everything down, like, the three states just got closed. Everything's getting turned off, I don't know. It's all just happening quick." PEOPLE EATING AT 1890 RESTAURANT AT THE ARCADE IN DOWNTOWN CLEVELAND TILT FROM CEILING TO GROUND FLOOR OF EMPTY ARCADE, ONE OF CLEVELAND'S MAJOR LANDMARKS, WITH EMPTY TABLES RESTAURANT WORKER PUTTING CHAIRS ON TABLE JUST BEFORE MANDATORY CLOSE AT 9 PM VARIOUS OF EMPTY STREETS DOWNTOWN CLEVELAND
- Keywords: COVID-19 Ohio governor bars closure coronavirus disease epidemic health pandemic restaurants scare virus
- Reuters ID: LVA001C5AX4QV
- Location: CLEVELAND AND COLUMBUS, OHIO, UNITED STATES
- City: CLEVELAND AND COLUMBUS, OHIO, UNITED STATES
- Country: USA
- Duration: 00:04:59
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Topics: Health/Medicine
- Story Text: Restaurant and bar workers in downtown Cleveland worried about their futures as their workplaces were shut down at 9 pm on Sunday (March 15) following orders by Ohio's governor in a bid to slow the spread of coronavirus.
Earlier in the day, the governor, Mike DeWine, said that if the state did not act swiftly, more people would die from the fast-spreading new coronavirus or COVID-19.
The announcement was made less than six hours before the 9 pm deadline, leaving bars and restaurants scrambling to figure out their next course of action.
"We all have families to take care of," said India John, a waitress at the Chocolate Bar. "I do want us to all be safe and healthy, but I'm really concerned about how I'm going to pay my bills."
The Chocolate Bar general manager, Shawn Freeman, said he is concerned about his workers.
"Restaurant people aren't as prepared and they can't work from home," Freeman said. "There are gonna be thousands and thousands of people across the state of Ohio who have nothing tomorrow, who are unemployed in 10 minutes. So, it's gonna be tough."
Several U.S. states on Sunday also announced school closures and restrictions on restaurants, bars, theaters, gyms and movie houses in an attempt to curb the spread of coronavirus.
The U.S. containment measures have so far been mild compared to the nationwide lockdowns imposed in Italy, France and Spain.
Top U.S. infectious diseases expert Anthony Fauci on Sunday warned Americans that the coronavirus outbreak could get worse before it gets better, but said he did not expect the United States to restrict domestic travel soon.
Governor DeWine, who said restaurants can only sell food on a take-out or delivery basis, added that he will be signing an executive order to help people working in the restaurant business to get unemployment benefits during the coronavirus emergency.
So far, 37 people have tested positive for coronavirus in Ohio, according to the state's health department.
With limited testing available, U.S. officials have recorded nearly 3,000 cases and 65 deaths, up from 58 on Saturday. Globally more than 162,000 are infected and over 6,000 have died.
(Production: Aleksandra Michalska, Gershon Peaks)
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